And We Have a Budget! Ted Strickland and the Gang of 5 Spineless Senate Republicans Raised Your Taxes
At about 2am, they cut a deal. This is from Gongwer ($):
A test drive of new public construction contracting laws and a delay in all-day kindergarten mandates for local schools provided the breakthrough late Wednesday in a stalemate over how to address an $851 million budget shortfall, according to Senate Republicans.
Negotiations over the budget fix (HB 318) intensified and spanned most of the day, resulting in a delay of a planned Senate committee report and floor votes, which were pushed back to Thursday.
Yet unlike recent fruitless talks over the package that had disintegrated into partisan sniping and finger-pointing, the two parties were finally able to reach agreement and thus avoid further cuts to education programs or other areas of the state budget.
The compromise involves a pilot program for “construction reform” that would allow a large-, medium- and small-sized higher education project to proceed under altered public contracting laws. Ohio State University’s $1 billion medical center project is expected to be the large project.
Other provisions include: Gov. Ted Strickland’s plan to delay an income tax cut; relief from an all-day kindergarten mandate that’s part of the governor’s new Evidence Based Model for school funding; language allowing chartered, non-public schools to receive up to $34 million a year from any excess funding for K-12 education that exists following annual Average Daily Membership counts; and a mental health budget correction.
Ted Strickland has raised your state income taxes by 4.2%. It will become official tonight.